I think not.
Dear Magazine Editors:
Please do not let this become a trend of any lasting duration:
“From the main tower you spot La Virgen de Quito, a winged Madonna standing watch from a distant hilltop, and you can’t help thinking that a cable stretched between here and there would make for the mother of all ziplines.”
Is that so?
“You order chef Rafael Perez’s pork confit taquitos, followed by a mammoth seafood plate featuring grilled grouper. You may have skipped the beef dish, but there is something unmistakably condor-like in how you go about attacking the seafood.”
I’ve run into several of these second-person command narratives and I can’t say I care for them. Granted some of the recommended stops are worthy, memorable even. But to have the travel writer impose some artificial emotional demand on your journey is maddening: “Next you gleefully sip a Barolo whilst savoring a scrumptious antipasto of sardines and chives.” Well, what if the service sucks that day whilst I’m at your charming little cantina? What if they’re out of sardines, or the artichoke hearts were sour? What if some noxious tour group from the hinterlands has ordered all the sardines because one got wind of your little travel recommendation? What of my visit in that case? What if it’s dumping rain outside and my rental car has just been stolen? What’s next? Have me gaily strolling down a side street in some dreary, “aspirational” neighborhood in Lisbon, praying for my life to not get mistaken for a hash dealer or a prostitute?
Now, that’s travel writing!
If you’re going to attempt to shove your imperatives down my throat (“And then you, and then you, and then you…”), I would prefer to read something in a more fantastical, truly aspirational vein.
After your lone siesta in a breezy inn overlooking the Chianti hills, a stunning, dark-haired Ligurian man, hung like a Lippazon stallion and ripped as a Navy SEAL, slinks into your bedroom before sunset and disrobes as he slides into bed beside you.
You fuck for hours and then order room service, only to find out that the kitchen closed eons ago, somewhere around the time of your second multiple. Because the inn has no television, you ring the bellhop and call him to your room. As you drink a half bottle of Claret from the mini bar, you watch from your charming little terrace as your Italian stallion deflours the slender bellboy for amusement.
In the morning, your neck stiff from performing so much profoundly riveting oral sex, you order a gin and tonic for breakfast and go at it again full-steam with the Ligurian before heading out for a day of shopping.
Something like that.
btw – this one is ok…